CBC unveils fall-winter slate: Kim's Convenience, Steven Sabados returns, digital comedies

A lifestyle show featuring Steven Sabados, a comedy inspired by the hit play Kim's Convenience and a crime thriller called Shoot the Messenger are among a diverse slate of new offerings from CBC coming this fall and winter.

Critically acclaimed Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays to return after 5 years

Steven Sabados is returning to CBC-TV's daytime lineup with a new, as-yet-untitled show in early October. He and Jessi Cruickshank will be joined by two other hosts on the daily lifestyle program. (CBC)

A lifestyle show featuring Steven Sabados, a comedy inspired by the hit play Kim's Convenience, an animated series based on Randi Zuckerberg's kids book Dot and a crime thriller called Shoot the Messenger are among a diverse slate of new offerings from CBC coming this fall and winter.

The public broadcaster unveiled its new and returning television, radio and digital programming on Thursday.

"We are building on our commitment to invest in more original, premium content by offering our most ambitious, diverse programming slate ever, focused on authentic voices, unique perspectives and character-driven stories that inspire, challenge, empower and entertain on all our platforms," Heather Conway, CBC's executive vice-president of English services, said in a statement.

As announced Tuesday, Sabados is returning to CBC-TV's daytime lineup with a new, as-yet-untitled lifestyle show in early October. 

Sabados, whose earlier show Steven and Chris ended last summer after the sudden death of his spouse and on-onscreen partner Chris Hyndman, will be joined by Jessi Cruickshank and other co-hosts to be announced in the coming weeks.

Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays actors Bob Martin, who co-created the series with Don McKellar, and Matt Watts are captured behind the scenes. The show, which debuted to critically acclaim, but low ratings, in 2011 is returning to the CBC-TV lineup. (CBC)

New TV dramas will include the hour-long shows Shoot the Messenger, a thriller centred on "the complicated relationship between crime reporters and the police," and Pure, about a drug trafficking ring controlled by Mennonites.

Along with Kim's Convenience — inspired by actor and playwright Ins Choi's celebrated stage play — CBC-TV's comedy slate will also introduce Catherine Reitman's series Workin' Moms and see the return of Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays, the critically lauded comedy last seen in 2011.

Two new factual series will turn the lens on young Canadians, exploring real life at a B.C. secondary school in This is High School and on the edge of the Arctic in True North Calling.

A TV adaptation of Kim's Convenience, the celebrated play by playwright-performer Ins Choi, left, that earned raves across Canada, is set for CBC-TV. (Cylla von Tiedemann/Soulpepper Theatre Company/Canadian Press)

"When you're hitting the sweet spot is when you're reflecting Canadians and I think Canadians have changed. Canadians are mature consumers of all kinds of content," Conway said on Thursday.

"Whenever you underestimate an audience is when you're at risk. You never go broke overestimating your audience."

More than two dozens favourites will be back on the CBC-TV lineup, including:

  • Coronation Street 
  • Dragons' Den
  • Murdoch Mysteries
  • Heartland
  • Rick Mercer Report
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes
  • Schitt's Creek
  • Mr. D
  • The Winnipeg Comedy Festival
  • The Halifax Comedy Festival
  • Just for Laughs: Galas
  • The Romeo Section
  • Canada's Smartest Person
  • Crash Gallery
  • Exhibitionists
  • Hello Goodbye
  • Interrupt This Program
  • This Life
  • X Company
  • The National
  • Marketplace
  • the fifth estate
  • The Nature of Things
  • Firsthand
Socia media expert Randi Zuckerberg published Dot in 2013. The curious adventure-seeking heroine of the book will star in a new animated series being produced for CBC-TV. (CBC-TV)

Dot, an animated series based on the children's character created by Randi Zuckerberg, and the photography competition Snapshots are fresh additions to the Kids' CBC lineup.

On the news and current affairs side, Diana Swain will debut a new show giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at investigative journalism, while Peter Armstrong will unveil a revamped business program.

CBC Radio's additions include The Candy Palmater Show, Out in the Open with Piya Chattopadhya and Marvin's Room, which sees Exhibitionists host Amanda Parris delve into the world of R&B music.

The Candy Palmater Show and Out in the Open with Piya Chattopadhyay are two new shows debuting on CBC Radio One. (CBC)

CBC Sports will build on this summer's coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games with expanded coverage of high-performance sport and athletes leading up to the PyeongChang Winter Games in 2018.

The public broadcaster is also introducing its largest field of digital original programming to date this fall, including Coming In, from the creators of the smash web series and viral sensation Shit Girls Say, and Disrupting Design, featuring CBC Radio's Matt Galloway.

Other new digital entries include the comedies My 90-year-old Roommate, The Amazing Gayl Pile, The Whole Truths, This is That and That's What Sheena Said!, arts shows Jet Age and Meet Your Maker as well as short-form digital documentaries.

"Canada looks like lots of different people. As the public broadcaster, it's by far our privilege and our duty to reflect the diversity of Canada. It's not a chore, it's fun. Let's find those new voices. Let's find those new shows that are making people sit up and go 'Hey, that looks like me. I feel connected to that content,'" Conway said.